First let me start out talking about a family, distant cousins to myself, who have been struggling for years, not to make ends meet, but to meet basic needs: shelter, clothing, food. They're homeless. They bounce form place to place. But hopefully not anymore. The mortgage fraud cases may have found them a permanent place to live, thanks to my dad...a retired, freelance do gooder lawyer.
They're a good family. Wonderful kids: caring, giving, well adjusted, good senses of humor, intelligent. The mother and father don't drink, smoke, do any sorts of funny drugs. They do what they can to get work. And when they have it, they work hard. I know, because they've come to my parents' house to do odd jobs from time to time. The father has a condition in his leg that limits his mobility...he used to be an independent trucker, but the skyrocketing gas prices several years ago combined with the crumbling economy meant he was actually losing money on trucking and when his truck broke down, he left it. Just left it on the side of the road. Couldn't afford to get it fixed.
He's been unemployed ever since, and his leg condition has stood in the way of even being considered by trucking companies, or any other companies. Plus the local U6 unemployment is dismal with about 1/4 of folks out of work.
The family has moved from dwelling to dwelling for years.
It's not uncommon for them to squat in a foreclosed house until they get kicked out. Usually a couple months here and there.
Most recently, they lived in one of my dad's friend's houses. Her house has been foreclosed upon, and she left and let the family stay in her house during the redemption period.
They lived there for a few weeks until Wells Fargo showed up.
Coincidentally, my father was there in a suit talking to the family about the very house.
I'm paraphrasing, but the conversation went something like this
Wells Fargo Guy: "Yarrhhh...This place be ARRRRS!!! Clear out, ye bilge rats or I'm fitten to keelhaul ye and yer kin!!!"
My pop: "Hey, hey...come on, now. You're not selling this place any time soon. Give them 90 days to get out."
Wells Fargo Guy: "And WHY might we be doin' somethin' like THAT, shark chum? Give me a good reason why I shouldn't send them down to Davey Jones' locker RIGHT NOW!!! ARRRRRRR"
My pop: "To be nice! Because they're a homeless family and they need someplace to stay."
Wells Fargo Guy: "AAAAAAAAHHHHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAR *cough cough* NICE?!?! HAR! I'll be evicting them within the fortnight!!!"
My pop: "Well...okay, then. I guess we'll see."
The Wells Fargo man showed up a couple more times that week...both times when my father happend to be there. And the conversation went about the same.
My father challenged the action in court. He had prepared. He had proof that Wells Fargo had NO LEGAL CLAIM to the property. NONE. Nothing they could prove.
He was ready.
He was cleanly shaven.
He was suited up for battle.
And Wells Fargo never showed up.
And the judge ruled in the family's favor.
The family can stay. Indefinitely.
So what happened?
--Years ago, the original owner bought the house using a company called Option One which was a distant subsidiary at the time H&R Block.
--Option1 tanked. Out Of Business.
--So a guy name Wilbur R. Ross LLC bought some of the assets and the name of Option One. BUT THE COMPANY, still gone. Non existent. GONE -- remember that.
--Wilbur R. Ross then formed a company called American Home Mortgage Services, Inc. and STARTED UP A NEW COMPANY as a subsidiary called: Option One.
Following so far?
--The first Option One is NOT the same company as the NEW Option One. Just the same name, and SOME of the original assets.
--But that's not what Wilber R. Ross claimed. He started claiming that American Home Mortgage Services was a "successor in interest to" the original Option One. As in: out of THIN AIR he made up that everything the original Option One was...is his.
-- And so...Wilbur Ross claimed it had ownership of the Mortgage, and therefore rights to foreclose on, my father's friends' house.
-- Now...the MORTGAGE was packaged in one of those crazy asset bundles and WELLS FARGO was assigned as the trustee, so it claimed it had an interest to the property and...
-- Option One then used a fake signer (one of those hair dressers we're hearing about) to TRANSFER the mortgage to Wells Fargo.
-- And then!
-- And THEN...Wells Fargo BOUGHT the house during the property auction.
-- Wells Fargo then claimed to OWN the HOUSE
-- And proceeded to try to KICK my distant cousins out of it.
My father's argument and all of his documentation said:
"Dude...not only do you not OWN this house...but the company who signed it over to you had no more claim to the mortgage than the guy who delivers pizza to the daughter of the cashier at the pet store Fish and Friends. You can't kick anybody out of this fuckin' house...so suck on that!"
And suck it, they did.
Cuz they didn't show up in court...and my distant cousins now have a home.
WHAT ABOUT THE ORIGINAL OWNER? I should point out that the original owner, based on my pop's legal action, was shown to legally OWN the house...but she had already moved out and is living in another place and agreed to "sell" the house to the homeless family for a price they can swing, when they can swing it.....yessir...This car breaks for JUSTICE!!!!
Hang ten for JUSTICE!